About Us

Healthy Families NZ aims to improve health for communities by making change to the places where people live, learn, work and play.

About Us

Healthy Families NZ was set up by the Ministry of Health to address the growing health inequities and increasing number of people impacted by preventable chronic disease in New Zealand.

The approach is about understanding the systems that affect health where people live, learn, work and play. The focus is on building strong partnerships across these places to create the changes that can collectively improve the health of communities.

The major investment is in a workforce that will be responsible for working with local leaders to change the systems that impact on health.

Healthy Families Manukau, Manurewa-Papakura is the largest of all the Healthy Families NZ locations. The contract to deliver is with the Tāmaki Healthy Families Alliance, an alliance between Ngā Mana Whenua o Tāmaki Makaurau, Alliance Health Plus PHO and Auckland Council.

These organisations came together with the common goal of transforming health in South Auckland, and bringing their collective leadership to make changes happen at scale across the region.

Healthy Families Manukau, Manurewa-Papakura is based in Manukau city and bring together a team of over 25 people with a huge array of experience living, learning, working and playing in Manukau, Manurewa and Papakura.

Our Approach

Healthy Families NZ is working with communities to think differently about the underlying causes of poor health, and to identify the changes we can make – in our schools, workplaces, sports clubs, marae, places of worship and other key community locations – that will support individuals to make healthier choices.

We’re tackling the causes of health problems by taking a ‘systems’ approach to better understand and respond to the highly complex environments that influence and affect health and well-being.

Led by the Ministry of Health, the initiative is run in ten sites across New Zealand, including our two locations; Manukau and Manurewa-Papakura. We are the biggest Healthy Families NZ community in New Zealand with the potential to impact the lives of over 275,000 people living in South Auckland.

Watch Summer’s story to find out what a Healthy Families NZ community could look like in Manukau.

Guiding Principles

Healthy Families NZ is guided by seven principles:

1 Implementation at Scale

Strategies are delivered at a scale that impacts the health and wellbeing of a large number of the population, in the places where they spend their time – in schools, workplaces and communities.


2 Collaboration for Collective Impact

Having a collective impact on health requires long term commitment by multiple partners, from different sectors, at multiple levels. Knowledge and interventions are created together with the community and people working in community – supported by the Healthy Families Manukau, Manurewa-Papakura workforce.


3 Equity

Health equity is the attainment of the highest level of health for all people. Healthy Families NZ will have an explicit focus on improving Māori health and reducing inequalities for groups at increased risk of chronic diseases. Māori participation at all levels of the planning and implementation of Healthy Families NZ is critical.


4 Adaptation

Strengthening the prevention system requires constant reflection, learning and adaptation to ensure strategies are timely, relevant and sustainable.

5 Experimentation

Small scale experiments provide insight into the most effective interventions to address chronic disease. We will embrace innovation and experimentation underpinned by evidence and experience and with a view to growing the activities that prove effective.


6 Leadership

Leadership is supported at all levels, including senior managers, elected officials, and health champions in schools, businesses, workplaces, sporting clubs and communities.


7 Line-of-sight

The line of sight provides a transparent view on how every step of Healthy Families NZ impacts communities.

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